YES David Buik Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond is certainly not short on intelligence. He knows that the case for independence has been strengthened by the Treasury's decision to take responsibility for all UK government debt in the aftermath of a "yes" vote. Understandably, London is eager to ensure that any exit is orderly in nature, and does not push up UK borrowing costs or result in a default. But by putting off any negotiations on debt payments until after the vote, the Treasury has made Salmond's plans seem more sustainable. It has removed the chance for bond markets to indicate their lack of faith in an independent Scotland, allowing the Scots to benefit from the UK's credit rating and putting off many difficult decisions regarding how an independent Scotland would be run. The British public should be appalled by the idea that Scotland will continue to use the pound and be regulated by the Bank of England . The Scots should either live by the sword or die by it! David Buik is a market commentator at Panmure Gordon . NO Richard Holt The Treasury's announcement was helpful. It hasn't given ground: the Scottish government already knew the position. Even after a "yes" vote, the UK would have to honour all existing debts. Anything else would be a default. Indeed, the Scottish government has offered to pay the UK government a fair share of debt servicing costs. True, it could be unreasonable over what constitutes a "fair share". It has also threatened to contribute nothing if Scotland is excluded from using sterling as its currency. But the markets should not worry too much - such actions would be counter-productive. They would ramp up Scotland's borrowing costs and infuriate the EU, of which Scotland is determined to be a member. So London's negotiating position is strong. The Scottish government would surely accept less-than-ideal terms as the price to pay for a decent credit rating, an easy entry to the EU, a smooth transition to independence, and a sterling currency zone. Richard Holt is regional economist at Capital Economics.
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